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Heart attack risk increases for pregnant women



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Expectant mothers, especially the elderly, should look for signs of heart problems as their pregnancies progress and their babies arrive.

The risk of a woman having a heart attack pregnant, childbirth, or in the two months after birth increased by 25 percent from 2002 to 2014, a study published Wednesday found in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The rate of patients who died remained 4.5 percent over this period but stable.

"To be conscious is the greatest message for women", dr. Sripal Bangalore, study co-author, interventional cardiologist and adjunct professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health, said TODAY.

"Although you are of childbearing age, this does not completely protect you from a heart attack … I do not want to exaggerate the risk ̵

1; the risk is low."

Nevertheless, the authors cited the increase in heart attacks that caused a heart attack Pregnancy complicated, "notable", since this happened despite the progress in the prevention of heart problems the last decade

One explanation could be that many expectant mothers are now older than in the past, and "advanced maternal age" – defined as 35 or more – was strongly linked to heart attack during pregnancy, the researchers wrote. Pregnant women between the ages of 35 and 39 contracted a heart attack five times more frequently than women in their twenties; those in their early 40s were ten times more at risk than women in their 20s.

"Age itself was one of the strongest predictors," Bangalore noted.

Another reason could be that heart attacks are easier to detect, sensitizing women and their doctors for cardiac events.

Symptoms may be "cloudy"

For the study, researchers analyzed more than 55 million hospital-related hospitalizations from January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2014. in the National Stationary Sample Database and found 4,471 cases of heart attacks. About 20 percent occurred in the weeks and months before birth, nearly 24 percent during childbirth and delivery, and more than 53 percent in the weeks following birth.

The total number of affected women was still relatively low: about eight cases per 100,000 women hospitalized during pregnancy and the first weeks after birth. In general, hormonal and other changes during pregnancy increase a woman's risk of heart attack.

Diagnosis can sometimes be challenging, Bangalore said. For example, pregnant women may have acid reflux and it will be difficult to distinguish whether it is heartburn due to pregnancy or chest discomfort that may be caused by a heart attack. Some symptoms may also be "clouded" upon delivery, Bangalore added. When a woman receives sedation during childbirth, she can not feel the typical pain in her chest.

This study found that heart attacks are associated with advanced maternal age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart failure, anemia and cancer. They also occurred more frequently in women diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and in those who had C-sections.

The treatment of heart attacks during pregnancy is still "unsafe," but with invasive treatment, fewer women died from B. bypass surgery and other procedures than when physicians were conservative.

If you're pregnant, doctors have given you the following tips:

These include chest pain, chest pain and discomfort, drowsiness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and the general feeling of being atypically unwell or fatigued. These classic symptoms also apply to pregnant women, Bangalore said.

Know the Risk Factors

If you're pregnant and over 35 and / or have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, pay close attention to your body. If you notice disturbing symptoms, tell your doctor immediately.

Staying Healthy

Stop smoking, control your high blood pressure or diabetes and monitor your weight gain if you are overweight. Losing weight before you become pregnant is the best way to reduce the risk of obesity problems, the American College of Gynecologists advise. Obesity during pregnancy endangers women's health, including pre-eclampsia, a blood pressure disorder

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